Administrative Law (Lee)
MW 3:00PM - 4:20PM
Silverman Hall 240A
Since the founding, administration has been essential to American government. Today, we live in an administrative state populated by thousands of governmental bodies that exercise pervasive authority over the economy and lives of every American. But administration faces unique challenges to its legitimacy. Unlike courts, Congress, and the President which are explicitly described in the Constitution, administrative agencies are not, making them a constitutionally ambiguous “fourth branch of government.” Also, unlike the three named branches, which the Constitution constrains by separating and balancing against each other, most agencies exercise a blend of legislative (law making), executive (law enforcing and executing), and judicial (law interpreting and applying) authority. In addition to court-like adjudication, they also issue legislation-like prospective rules, and engage in executive-like enforcement. Indeed, some agency activities, for instance license granting and rate-setting, blend these powers in a single action. Thus constraining administration poses unique challenges. “Administrative law” is the body of constitutional, statutory, executive, and common law that constrains and thereby seeks to legitimate the exercise of agencies’ powers. A challenge for administrative law is to balance constraining and legitimating administration with not unduly frustrating agencies’ ability to do the work that led to their creation in the first place. This course will critically examine administrative law and the balance it strikes. Topics include: the place of agencies in our tripartite structure of government, the choice between rulemaking and adjudication as devices for making policy, procedural requirements for the exercise of various administrative powers, and judicial review of administrative decisions. We will examine such hot-button topics as the privatization of government, the modern “imperial Presidency,” current proposals to reform administrative law, and how agencies should weigh the costs and benefits of regulation.
"Gellhorn and Byse's Administrative Law" by Strauss, et. al.